|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Committee on NGOs
15th & 16th Meetings (AM & PM)
Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends 76 of 246 Applications
for Consultative Status, Closes 19 by Conclusion of 2010 Regular Session
‘Spirit of Consensus’ Hailed, Growing Workload Noted in Closing Remarks
During its 2010 regular session, which began on 25 January and ended today, the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) considered applications submitted by 246 entities, recommending that the Economic and Social Council grant consultative status to 76 of them, while closing 19 applications.
In closing remarks, Chair Ramis Sen (Turkey) recalled that the Committee had had to consider 42 new applications during its January 2008 session, 99 new ones in January 2009 and 141 during the current session. Those figures spoke to the increased workload confronting the Committee, he said.
Pointing out that all decisions had been taken by consensus, he said the Committee had been able to review the 141 new applications twice, as had been the case with 101 applications deferred from previous sessions. The Committee’s working methods had been discussed in three hours of informal meetings, he added.
Also making brief closing statements were the representatives of the United States, Egypt, Switzerland, Cuba, Pakistan, Angola, Qatar, China and Dominica, as well as by the observer delegations of Spain (on behalf of the European Union) and Switzerland. They noted the progress made, hailed the prevailing spirit of consensus and emphasized the need to improve the Committee’s working methods in view of its growing workload.
During today’s meetings, the Committee recommended 12 NGOs for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred its consideration of 64 applications.
General, special or roster status is granted in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend Economic and Social Council meetings and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items. Roster-status NGOs can only attend meetings.
The Committee recommended special consultative status for:
UNESCO Association, Guwahati, a national organization in India which seeks to promote knowledge and create awareness of the ideals of the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
Viva Rio, a national organization in Brazil created in December 1993 as a direct response to increasing levels of armed violence in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and with the aim of promoting peace and development on the local level, while creating the means to overcome urban violence and social exclusion;
Dones per la Libertad y Democracia, a national organization in Spain seeking to promote the rights of women and their participation in all areas of society while defending women's human rights worldwide;
International Commission on Workforce Development, a United States-based international organization aiming to provide access to affordable information technology and professional development for developing countries;
East-West Management Institute, an international organization based in the United States which promotes the rule of law, civil society and free market systems globally, particularly in developing and post-conflict countries;
3D – Trade – Human Rights – Equitable Economy, a Switzerland-based international organization concerned with the situation of the most vulnerable countries in the world economy;
Pacific Women’s Watch (New Zealand), a national organization seeking to ensure that the voices of women of the Pacific subregion, particularly New Zealand, are heard in the international arena;
Missions 3G - Gauri, an international organization headquartered in India which tries to reach those segments of society that remain geographically isolated and scattered, or economically deprived and exploited, and to create a green environment so as to reduce warming and create a self-reliant society for dignified survival;
Alliance Defense Fund, a United States-based international organization seeking to defend and promote human rights and civil liberties recognized and protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and applicable international instruments;
National Organization of Friendship Centres SAHIL, an organization in Pakistan providing support for victims and their families through free legal aid and psychological counselling; and
Plan Sweden, a national organization in Sweden which is part of “Plan”, one of the leading international non-religious and non-political child-rights oriented development and humanitarian organizations.
As Egypt’s representative noted that an organization similar to Plan Sweden, namely Plan International, currently enjoyed roster status, the Committee decided to ask the NGO for a report on its activities in order to assess whether it should be reclassified for special consultative status.
The Committee recommended roster status for:
American Delegation of the Order of Danilo I, a national organization in the United States which provides humanitarian assistance to the sick, the poor and the aged through charitable and educational works.
Pending receipt of answers to delegates’ questions, the Committee deferred until its resumed session in May applications submitted by:
Palpung Munishasan Dharmachakra Sangh -- an India-based international organization dedicated to the welfare of others regardless of sect, caste, religion, race, gender or nationality –- after China’s representative raised issues of United Nations terminology and questions from India’s representative;
Vivekananda Sevakendra-O-Sishu Uddyan -- a national organization in India which strives for holistic and self-sustainable community development –- following additional questioning by China’s representative;
Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights -- an international organization headquartered in the Philippines which strives for a world where women enjoy reproductive and sexual rights, free from social, political, cultural and economic oppression, in keeping with their personally held values, in dignity and good health –- as the representatives of Qatar, Pakistan and Egypt asked additional questions;
World Toilet Organization -- an international organization in Singapore which addresses the dysfunctional sanitation market for the poor by installing sufficient market infrastructure, and promotes ecological sanitation through recycling to prevent the pollution of waterways -- as China’s representative raised issues of United Nations terminology;
Afromedianet –- a France-based international network of leading journalists and independent experts specializing in human rights, development issues and humanitarian affairs in Africa, which develops programmes aimed at supporting various local, national, regional and international human rights initiatives on the continent –- because of additional questioning by Egypt's representative;
Asia Catalyst -- an international organization headquartered in the United States which strives to support and promote the development of local NGOs that advance human rights, social justice and environmental protection in Asia –- due to additional questioning by China’s representative;
Association Apprentissage Sans Frontières -- an international organization based in Switzerland which focuses on promoting socio-economic rights through apprenticeship-based training modelled on Switzerland’s federal qualification certificate –- owing to additional questioning by Egypt’s representative;
Association internationale des droits de l'enfant en difficulté et dans la souffrance -- an international organization headquartered in Canada which seeks to ensure that the neediest children in the world’s most remote regions have the basic necessities for survival –- as Egypt's representative asked more questions;
Australian Lesbian Medical Association -- a national organization striving to provide support and advocacy for members, advance the visibility of lesbian health, and provide a network for lesbian doctors -- because Egypt's representative needed more time to study its responses;
Child Helpline International –- a Netherlands-based international organization striving to respond to children in need of care and protection, while voicing their concerns to policymakers and decision-makers by establishing a global network of children's help-lines and supporting individual help-lines –- after China’s representative raised issues of United Nations terminology;
Collectif des Familles des Disparu(e)s en Algérie -- a national organization based in France which aims to find missing persons and shed light on the fate of all victims of enforced disappearances in Algeria –- due to additional questioning by the representatives of Burundi, Egypt, Qatar, Cuba and Sudan;
Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association – a United States-based international organization committed to relieving various forms of physical, emotional and spiritual human suffering, and supporting programmes that protect the natural environment –- owing to additional questioning by China’s representative;
European Window Film Association -- an international organization based in Belgium which aims to change the perception of the European Union and that of consumers about window films, while promoting window film products for use in both cars and buildings –- because of additional questioning by the representatives of China and Egypt;
Freemuse - The World Forum on Music and Censorship – a Denmark-based international organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide –- as China’s representative asked additional questions;
High Atlas Foundation –- a New York-based international organization supporting development projects in Morocco –- as Egypt’s representative requested additional clarification;
International Prison Chaplains’ Association –- a Sweden-based international organization promoting freedom of religion for prisoners around the world -– due to additional questioning by the representatives of China and Pakistan;
International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance -- an international organization based in Switzerland which promotes rainwater harvesting -- as Egypt’s representative sought more clarification;
International Solidarity and Human Rights Institute -- an international organization based in the United States which promotes human rights based on natural law principles -- after China’s representative asked for further clarification;
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions -- an international organization seeking to defend the basic rights of people to housing –- after Israel’s representative asked about its national or international status;
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund –- a national organization in the United States promoting understanding of social and economic justice -- due to further questioning by China’s representative;
Mundo Sin Guerras -- an international organization based in Spain which aims to promote ideas and actions that would lead to the elimination of war -– due to additional questioning posed by the representatives of the Russian Federation and Egypt;
Oromo Menschenrechts und Hilfsorganisation -- an international organization based in Germany which promotes awareness of human rights abuses in Ethiopia, assists victims of torture, and supports Oromo refugees and Oromo culture –- following further requests for clarification by the representatives of Burundi, Egypt and Sudan, as well as objections by the observer delegate of Ethiopia;
Pan African Civil Society Network -- an international organization based in France which aims to accelerate the social and economic development of African peoples and environments –- after Egypt’s representative requested more detailed information;
Proyecto Paz y Amor –- a United States-based international organization providing nutrition and education to make children healthier and give them hope for a better community –- as the representatives of Peru and Cuba said they were not satisfied with its answers and asked additional questions;
Restoration World Outreach Ministries -- an international organization based in the United States which seeks to restore order to the “Body of Christ and to the Nations through the restoration of the Apostolic Doctrine, Prophetic Vision and the Five Fold Ministry to the Church”, by finding solutions to economic and social issues of global society and ultimately “winning souls for Christ” -– because Egypt's representative requested more clarifications;
Saint Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology of the North-Western Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences -- a national organization in the Russian Federation focusing on raising awareness among the medical profession worldwide of issues relating to healthy ageing and age-associated disorders, and on developing scientific and applied programmes for the prevention and early diagnosis of and therapy for age-related diseases –- after additional questioning by the representative of the United States;
Scholars at Risk Network –- a United States-based international organization dedicated to defending threatened scholars and scholarly communities worldwide, while promoting academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of thought, opinion and expression without fear, discrimination, censorship, intimidation or violence –- due to additional questioning by Egypt's representative;
Secure World Foundation –- an international organization in the United States dedicated to the long-term sustainability of outer space and protection of the Earth –- following additional questions by Egypt's representative;
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States -- a national organization advocating the universal right to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality and sexual health services –- after additional questioning by the representatives of Qatar and Egypt;
Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation -- an international organization in the United States seeking to provide meaningful educational opportunities for children and young adults throughout the world –- as Angola’s representative asked additional questions;
Sudanese Mothers For Peace –- a United Kingdom-based international organization striving to advance education, relieve poverty and empower women and their families, and to promote human rights throughout the world, while working towards rapid and full implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace, and security –- after Sudan’s representative expressed his dissatisfaction with its answers, and additional questioning by Egypt's delegate;
Widows for Peace Through Democracy -- an international organization headquartered in the United Kingdom which strives to promote the status of widows in developing countries, particularly in conflict-affected and HIV/AIDS-afflicted countries –- as Turkey’s representative said he was not satisfied with its answers, and requested the use of correct United Nations terminology; and Egypt's representative asked additional questions;
e 8 -- an international organization in Canada aiming to play an active role in global electricity issues and to promote sustainable development worldwide –- due to additional questioning by the representatives of Egypt, India and Pakistan about its change of name from “e 7” to “e 8”, and its move from France to Canada;
Rissho Kosei-kai -– a Japan-based international organization trying to contribute to world peace by ensuring every individual’s human dignity, in accordance with Buddhist principles –- after Egypt’s representative requested more clarification. As China’s representative expressed her satisfaction with the answers provided, Japan’s delegate said the understanding was that once China was satisfied, the NGO would be recommended for consultative status. The fact that the organization now faced new questioning was “unfortunate”, he said, requesting that the Committee revisit the application during the current session;
International Gas Union –- a Norway-based organization promoting technical and economic progress in the global gas industry –- after Egypt’s representative proposed that the Committee close the application. However, the representative of the United States said he was not in a position to go along with that;
Anandilal Ganesh Podar Society -- an international organization headquartered in India which aims to educate girls from weaker sections of society, especially those from slums and tribal areas, and to help blind and deaf girls –- because of additional questions by Pakistan’s representative;
Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum -- an India-based international organization aiming to create a special climate of solidarity and responsibility with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the main guideline –- as Pakistan’s representative expressed dissatisfaction with its answers and China’s representative requested that it adhere to correct United Nations terminology;
Corrections India -- a national organization seeking ways to rehabilitate HIV-infected people and make them feel like active members of society –- due to additional questioning by Pakistan’s representative;
International Human Rights Observer (IHRO) Pakistan -- a national organization aiming to educate the masses and create among them awareness of the fundamental freedoms and rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights –- because more time was needed to study its answers;
International Institute of Security & Safety Management -- an international organization headquartered in India which promotes security and safety as integral parts of human and socio-economic development –- due to additional questions by Pakistan’s representative;
Jananeethi – A People’s Initiative for Human Rights -- a national organization in India aiming to make justice a tangible experience for the poor and marginalized –- because delegates needed more time to study its answers;
Neda Institute for Scientific-Political Research -- a national organization in Iran seeking to collect all research studies undertaken on Middle Eastern political and social problems inside and outside the Islamic Republic, and to set up a comprehensive archive of various aspects of Middle Eastern countries, including cultural, social, economic, political and military aspects -– after additional questioning by Egypt's representative;
New World Hope Organization –- a Pakistan-based international NGO striving to create awareness of education among deprived communities in order to develop better living standards for a bright future –- as China’s representative was still waiting for corrections on its website regarding the correct use of United Nations terminology;
Agape International Spiritual Center of Truth -– a United States-based international organization dedicated to recognizing, honouring and nurturing the dignity and uniqueness of all peoples —- as the representatives of China and Egypt asked additional questions;
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- an international organization based in the United States which advocates technically sound public policy positions that meet the consumer and societal need for clean, safe, efficient and affordable personal transportation –- as Egypt's representative requested further clarification;
Assyrian Academic Society -- an international organization based in the United States which aims to ensure a robust understanding and awareness of the Assyrian people, their history and present conditions in various forums -– due to additional questioning by the representative of Egypt and Qatar.
A lengthy discussion began after the representative of the United States noted that the NGO had appeared before the Committee in five sessions, during which it had faithfully answered questions from one delegation which was now satisfied with its replies. No other delegate had asked questions and he did not understand the significance of those posed by Egypt’s representative, who apparently wanted the organization to provide the registration of another organization, something not required under Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31. That was a “stalling tactic” used by some delegations to prevent an NGO representing a minority that might not be popular from obtaining consultative status. That was a “poor reflection on the Committee and on the United Nations in general”, he said, recommending special status for the group.
After Iraq’s representative informed the Committee that a “branch” of the NGO in his country was not properly registered, the representative of the United States pointed out that the delegates were talking about two different groups. The one under consideration had clearly stated that the two were completely separate entities, he said, adding that it was not appropriate for the Committee to question one NGO about a separate organization.
Egypt's representative remarked that the NGO under consideration had described the other as a “sister organization”.
Following a discussion in which the representatives of the United States, Egypt, Qatar, Sudan, Romania, Pakistan and Angola participated, Committee Secretary Moncef Khane provided answers to questions addressed to him, saying there was no stipulation under resolution 1996/31 preventing delegations from asking questions of the same NGO if they had not done so during previous meetings.
Answering other questions, he said that, under the resolution’s provisions, Committee members were within their rights to question an NGO under consideration about its relationships with other organizations, if that NGO was part of an umbrella organization or had affiliates. Since the condition of an applicant’s registration was a sine qua non condition under the resolution, it would not be unreasonable for the Committee to investigate the authorization by which an affiliate or branch operated, or to ask the applicant for assistance in that regard.
Ecocosm Dynamics, Ltd. -- an international organization headquartered in the United States which seeks to reduce the rate of overall global human consumption based on the assumption that it was the cause of the current global environmental crisis –- after Egypt's representative requested more time to study its application and asked additional questions;
Erevna International Peace Centre -- an organization based in Cyprus whose aims include conflict resolution, training mediators and research in conflict-resolution methodology –- due to additional questioning by Turkey’s representative;
Forest Products Associations of Canada -- a national organization providing leadership in advancing the lawful interests of forest-product companies and a legitimate forum for the discussion of industry issues –- as Egypt's representative asked to study its application;
Hope Medical Enterprises, Ltd. -- an international organization headquartered in the United Kingdom which aims to empower women and young girls through education, medical counselling (on sexual health, family planning and dental hygiene), and socio-cultural counselling, while supporting them with regard to domestic violence and harmful cultural practices –- because delegates needed more time to study the information provided;
Human Rights House Foundation –- a Norway-based international organization working to strengthen human rights organizations worldwide through the establishment of Human Rights Houses –- as the Russian Federation’s representative requested more time;
Institute of Noah Code - 7 Laws for 70 Nations -- a national organization in the United States encouraging the practice of the Seven Laws of Noah according to the teachings of Rabbi M. M. Schneerson –- due to doubt about the group’s registration and whether it was a purely religious organization or not.
Committee Secretary Khane noted that resolution 1996/31 was not explicit on how the organization could prove its existence, beyond stating that it must prove that it had existed for two years. The norm was to submit proof through a certificate of registration;
International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul –- a France-based organization fighting for poverty alleviation and social change, while enhancing local development capacities in 141 countries –- after Egypt’s delegation pointed out some problems with its replies;
International Dalit Solidarity Network –- an organization based in Denmark which seeks the elimination of caste-based discrimination worldwide –- because the Committee was awaiting its response;
International Federation of Liberal Youth –- a group headquartered in Belgium which serves as an umbrella organization for liberal and student youth bodies worldwide –- due to additional questions posed by the representatives of China and Cuba;
International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Inc. -- a national organization in the United States working to give people a voice in the way in which they are governed –- because the Committee was still awaiting its responses to previous questions;
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission -- an organization based in the United States which supports the human rights of people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV status -- after the representatives of Qatar and Egypt requested further clarifications, although the representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States signalled their readiness to recommend special consultative status;
International La Strada Association -- an anti-trafficking network of nine independent human rights NGOs based in the Netherlands and working from a human rights perspective in support of all trafficked persons, but with a focus on women in Central and (South) East Europe –- as the Committee awaited its responses;
International Reading Association -- an organization based in the United States and dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit –- because the Committee was awaiting its responses;
Kashmiri American Council -- a national organization in the United States striving for international education and the promotion of the principles of human rights and human dignity, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, self-determination and fundamental freedoms for all, irrespective of racial, religious, linguistic or sexual preferences -– as the Committee awaited its responses;
Kosmos Associates, Inc. -– a United States-based international organization seeking to build a sustainable global civilization by raising individual consciousness, dialogue among civilizations, and action to reform the United Nations more democratically while enhancing the participation of civil society organizations –- after Egypt’s representative asked if the head of the organization also represented another organization;
Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression -– a national organization -– after Egypt’s representative requested information about where its membership was based, its policies toward minorities and other matters;
Jananeethi – A People’s Initiative for Human Rights -- a national organization in India aiming to make justice a tangible experience for the poor and marginalized -– because China asked additional questions; and
SAHIL -- a national organization in Pakistan providing support for victims and their families through free legal aid and psychological counselling –- after questioning by India’s representative.
Upon a proposal by the representatives of Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan and India, the Committee decided to close the application submitted by the Institute of Hazrat Mohammad as it had provided false information. It also closed the application of CIEMEN – Centre Internacional Escarre per a les Minories Etniques i les Nacions following a request by Turkey’s representative.
The Committee also decided that a letter requesting responses to delegates’ questions would be sent to Muslim Aid Australia and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy.
In other business, the Committee adopted the report on its 2010 regular session (document E/C.2/2010/L.1), which was introduced by Crispin Gregoire (Dominica), its Rapporteur.
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